The books I read in 2012

1 01 2013

Happy New Year, dearest blog readers!

Here’s wishing each and every one of you the most wonderful things for the year ahead 😀

It’s time for another blog post sharing the books I managed to read over the course of the past year (you can also see my posts for 2009, 2010 and 2011).

In 2011, I set my initial goal as 100 books and eventually totalled 145. For 2012, I decided to ease into things by again setting my goal at 100 books, especially since I knew how crazy-busy the second half of the year would be with work deadlines (lack of sleep for days on end is no fun…)

And despite all the madness, I still managed to beat my initial goal and bump my reading for the year up to 160 books!

So, below follows the (looong) list of all the books I read. If you’re not in the mood to scroll through and peruse it now, you can always download the PDF version thereof: Books Read 2012

Oh, and if you want me to recommend any of the books on the list or highlight some of the ones I enjoyed the most, you only need to ask. I’d also love if you’d like to share some of the books you found worthwhile. Happy reading!!

Simon's cat bookcase


* American Gods – Neil Gaiman

* Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

* Angelology – Danielle Trussoni

* The Ultimate Book of Jewish Jokes – David Minkoff

* Incarceron – Katherine Fisher

* The Book with No Name – Anonymous

* The Private Life of the Cat Who…: Tales of Koko and Yum Yum – Lilian Jackson Braun

* The Eye of the Moon – Anonymous

* The Cat Who Came to Breakfast (Cat Who… #16) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* The Cat Who Blew the Whistle (Cat Who… #17) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* The Cat Who Said Cheese (Cat Who… #18) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* The Cat Who Tailed a Thief (Cat Who… #19) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* The Cat Who Sang for the Birds (Cat Who… #20) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* The Cat Who Saw Stars (Cat Who… #21) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* The Cat Who Robbed a Bank (Cat Who… #22) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* The Cat Who Smelled a Rat (Cat Who… #23) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* The Cat Who Went up the Creek (Cat Who… #24) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* The Cat Who Brought Down the House (Cat Who… #25) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* The Cat Who Talked Turkey (Cat Who… #26) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* Cinnamon Roll Murder (Hannah Swensen series #15) – Joanne Fluke

* The Cat Who Went Bananas (Cat Who… #27) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* Through the Woods: The Final Catdown – Troy Blackford

* The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell (Cat Who… #28) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* The Cat Who had 60 Whiskers (Cat Who… #29) – Lilian Jackson Braun

* Plugged – Eoin Colfer

* Praying for Sleep – Jeffery Deaver

* Delirium (Delirium #1) – Lauren Oliver

* Hana (Delirium #1.5) – Lauren Oliver

* Pandemonium (Delirium #2) – Lauren Oliver

* Matched (Matched #1) – Ally Condie

* Grimms’ Fairy Tales – Brothers Grimm

* Crossed (Matched #2) – Ally Condie

* Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) – Lauren DeStefano

* Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) – Lauren DeStefano

* Birthmarked (Birthmarked #1) – Caragh M. O’Brien

* Extras (Uglies #4) – Scott Westerfeld

* The Last Dickens – Matthew Pearl

* Treasure Island – Robert Louise Stevenson

* Tortured (Birthmarked #1.5) – Caragh M. O’Brien

* Prized (Birthmarked #2) – Caragh M. O’Brien

* The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells

* The Iron Thorn (Iron Codex #1) – Caitlin Kittredge

* The Nightmare Garden (Iron Codex #2) – Caitlin Kittredge

* Possession (Possession #1) – Elana Johnson

* The Wind Through the Keyhole (Dark Tower #4.5) – Stephen King

* Insurgent (Divergent #2) – Veronica Roth

* Hollowland (The Hollows #1) – Amanda Hocking

* Hollowmen (The Hollows #2) – Amanda Hocking

* The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1) – Aimée Carter

* The Goddess Hunt (Goddess Test #1.5) – Aimée Carter

* Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test #2) – Aimée Carter

* Asphodel (The Underworld Trilogy #1) – Lauren Hammond

* Prophecy of the Sisters (Prophecy of the Sisters #1) – Michelle Zink

* Guardian of the Gate (Prophecy of the Sisters #2) – Michelle Zink

* Circle of Fire (Prophecy of the Sisters #3) – Michelle Zink

* Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1) – Amanda Hocking

* Torn (Trylle Trilogy #2) – Amanda Hocking

* Ascend (Trylle Trilogy #3) – Amanda Hocking

* Entwined – Heather Dixon

* Aftertime (Aftertime #1) – Sophie Littlefield

* Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) – Cassandra Clare

* Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) – Cassandra Clare

* Revived – Cat Patrick

* The Selection (The Selection #1) – Kiera Cass

* Unearthly (Unearthly #1) – Cynthia Hand

* Hallowed (Unearthly #2) – Cynthia Hand

* The Woman in Black – Susan Hill

* Virtue – Amanda Hocking

* The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

* Awaken (Awaken #1) – Katie Kacvinsky

* Mercury Swings (Mercury series #0.5) – Robert Kroese

* Mercury Falls (Mercury series #1) – Robert Kroese

* Mercury Rises (Mercury series #2) – Robert Kroese

* Surrender (Possession #2) – Elana Johnson

* City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare

* City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) – Cassandra Clare

* City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) – Cassandra Clare

* The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) – Lois Lowry

* The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands & Teeth #1) – Carrie Ryan

* Fallen (Fallen #1) – Lauren Kate

* Torment (Fallen #2) – Lauren Kate

* Passion (Fallen #3) – Lauren Kate

* Fallen in Love (Fallen #3.5) – Lauren Kate

* Simon’s Cat (book #1) – Simon Tofield

* Simon’s Cat: Beyond the Fence (book #2) – Simon Tofield

* Simon’s Cat in Kitten Chaos (book #3) – Simon Tofield

* Rapture (Fallen #4) – Lauren Kate

* City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) – Cassandra Clare

* The Dead-Tossed Waves (Forest of Hands & Teeth #2) – Carrie Ryan

* Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

* Bonded (Law of the Lycans #0.5) – Nicky Charles

* The Dark and Hollow Places (Forest of Hands & Teeth #3) – Carrie Ryan

* Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl #8) – Eoin Colfer

* Welcome to Moon Hill – Anthony J. Rapino

* The Siren – Kiera Cass

* Critical Incident – Troy Blackford

* Kill You Twice – Chelsea Cain

* Ascent (The Party series #1) – Amy Kinzer

* White Cat (The Curse Workers #1) – Holly Black

* Red Glove (The Curse Workers #2) – Holly Black

* Black Heart (The Curse Workers #3) – Holly Black

* The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries – Rick Riordan

* UR – Stephen King

* The Kill Order (Maze Runner #0.5) – James Dashner

* Mercury Begins (Mercury series) – Robert Kroese

* Others – James Herbert

* Empty – Suzanne Weyn

* The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1) – Rick Riordan

* The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2) – Rick Riordan

* Forbidden – Syrie James

* The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles #1) – Kady Cross

* The Serpent’s Shadow (Kane Chronicles #3) – Rick Riordan

* The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (Steampunk Chronicles #0.5) – Kady Cross

* The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles #2) – Kady Cross

* Breathless – Jessica Warman

* The Body Finder (Body Finder series #1) – Kimberly Derting

* Princess of the Midnight Ball (Princess series #1) – Jessica Day George

* Desires of the Dead (Body Finder series #2) – Kimberly Derting

* The Last Echo (Body Finder series #3) – Kimberly Derting

* Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) – Veronica Rossi

* Between – Jessica Warman

* Princess of Glass (Princess series #2) – Jessica Day George

* Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker – Syrie James

* First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) – Darynda Jones

* Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson #2) – Darynda Jones

* Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3) – Darynda Jones

* Song of Seduction (Seduction #1) – Carrie Lofty

* Nocturne – Syrie James

* The Frenzy – Francesca Lia Block

* The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling

* The Musician’s Daughter – Susanne Dunlap

* The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3) – Rick Riordan

* Ruled (Birthmarked #2.5) – Caragh M. O’Brien

* Promised (Birthmarked #3) – Caragh M. O’Brien

* Poison Study (Study #1) – Maria V. Snyder

* Magic Study (Study #2) – Maria V. Snyder

* Fire Study (Study #3) – Maria V. Snyder

* Power Study (Study #3.5) – Maria V. Snyder

* Storm Glass (Glass #1) – Maria V. Snyder

* Sea Glass (Glass #2) – Maria V. Snyder

* Spy Glass (Glass #3) – Maria V. Snyder

* Dangerous Lover (Dangerous #1) – Lisa Marie Rice

* Dangerous Secrets (Dangerous #2) – Lisa Marie Rice

* Dangerous Passion (Dangerous #3) – Lisa Marie Rice

* Enclave (Razorland #1) – Ann Aguirre

* Endurance (Razorland #1.5) – Ann Aguirre

* Outpost (Razorland #2) – Ann Aguirre

* Portrait of Seduction (Seduction #2) – Carrie Lofty

* Reached (Matched #3) – Ally Condie

* Middle Ground (Awaken #2) – Katie Kacvinsky

* Betrayal (The Descendants #1) – Mayandree Michel

* Sacrifice (The Descendants #1) – Mayandree Michel

* The Bar Code Tattoo (Bar Code #1) – Suzanne Weyn

* The Bar Code Rebellion (Bar Code #2) – Suzanne Weyn

* The Bar Code Prophecy (Bar Code #3) – Suzanne Weyn

* The Night Dance: A Retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” – Suzanne Weyn

* Water Song: A Retelling of “The Frog Prince” – Suzanne Weyn

* Simon’s Cat vs The World (book #4) – Simon Tofield

* Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1) – Bethany Griffin

* Golden: A Retelling of “Rapunzel” – Cameron Dokey


Time to celebrate

7 08 2012

So despite the fact that I’ve spent four hours of the working day in meetings and have been assisting on other people’s titles (can I help if I’m efficient & eager to help out? I like keeping busy), I’m feeling very much like this LOLcat:

And why might that be, you ask? Well, perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I wrote my learners licence test this morning and passed with 100% 😀

Now there’s just the matter of buying myself a small car and (re-)learning how to drive… oh, and getting over my overwhelming FEAR of driving, of course. Really big hurdle, that. Just thinking about it causes my palms to sweat a little bit *nervous twitch* I would strongly advise you to reconsider ever getting into a vehicle with me when I’m the driver… unless you don’t place great value on your life/ mental health… or if you’re a thrill seeker who enjoys life-threatening events 😉

In all earnest, though, I’m rather excited at the prospect of being independent. When in the unfortunate situation of being caught in traffic, it’ll present me with a sort of ‘window of opportunity’ to channel any anger/frustration I may have experienced that day while also providing a ‘safe space’ where I can timeously contemplate my murders… There’s an upside to everything, right?! Perspective sure is a refreshing thing…

Scattered Brainings XVI

27 07 2012

* Anyone else have a routine they follow when they first arrive at work? For me, it’s simple: I go through my e-mails, have a mug of tea… and have a look at some comics & memes on my favourite sites. It only takes about 5 minutes, if that, which makes me feel a little less guilty about going onto these sites in the first place. At least I’m a diligent worker for the rest of the day.

* Smudgy might be against healthy snacking. Why else would she steal the apple I wanted to take along to work from the kitchen counter… twice? Oh, wait, that’s right – (a) it was small enough to be considered a toy, and (b) she’s a cat, so she does whatever she wants. Like sleeping on my brand new coat before I even wear it.

* Not having drowned thus far during aqua aerobics feels like a great accomplishment to me. Yeay exercise!

* I know you’re supposed to feel flattered when people think you’re younger than you really are. I’m just wondering at what point in your life this is supposed to be complementary and when the guesstimated difference is a bit too extreme or even astonishing. The women in my aqua aerobics class thought I was only 15 or 16 years old! (I’m told it’s because I’m so small & ‘skinny’.) Now imagine their expressions when they hear that I’m married and how old I actually am. The shock value / surprised faces are really quite amusing.

* The weather is cold, and for the past week I’ve been wearing not-really-heat-inducing jerseys at work with the sleeves rolled up because I feel warm & semi-claustrophobic. I’m too young to be getting hot flashes, right?

* Pink macaroons taste like Bakers Zoo Cookies. If you live in South Africa, go buy one at a Limnos Bakery and tell me I’m wrong. They are awesome!

* We’re watching the second season of GAME OF THRONES at the moment. While interesting, I can’t help but want to groan in joint despair and annoyance when we have to see another person’s naked form and all that hoo-ha. Get on with the story already!

* Also, has anyone else joked that Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly are like Frodo Baggins & Samwise Gamgee in LOTR? Come one: Samwell – Samwise? Both a bit portly, well-meaning, supportive and a true friend? Jon and Frodo each with their own type of burdens to bear and roles to fulfil / adventures to go on? No? Just me, then…

* Is it weird that I find it weird that people don’t think it’s weird to have a whole conversation while in cubicles/stalls at a public/work restroom? Weird.

Friday with Business Cat (10)

13 07 2012

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!

I hope your day has been off to a good start and that the superstition bug hasn’t bitten any of you. I for one am going to seek out the little black kitty who lives in our apartment complex (not knowing his name, I’m torn between dubbing him either ‘Blackie’ or ‘Shadow’) and give him plenty of affection.

And since it is Friday and I feel you need to get a dose of some black cat feel good vibes on this the 13th, Business Cat has graciously agreed to help kick off the weekend by putting a smile on your faces. (Is it working?)

Well, there’s that, plus the fact that I’ve had some requests for more Business Cat pics – seems like his presence has been sorely missed 😉

Have a wonderful workday and weekend, everyone!

Happy 4th of July!

4 07 2012

Hullo there, blog readers

I just thought I’d take the time to wish all the Americans out there a happy Independence Day … but only because it gives me another opportunity to post a picture of a very cute kitty! *squee* 🙂

Also: a very happy birthday to Mr Jack Daniels! Here’s to a better year ahead for you.

Thinking my happy thoughts…

29 06 2012

…and trying not to contemplate murder.

Hint: it hasn’t really been working. And I apologize in advance for the ‘rant’.

There’s something people need to understand: if you mess with my cat, even in the smallest way, you most definitely mess with me. Thus far I’ve been controlling my emotions (and immense desire to retaliate) quite well, but I don’t know how much longer I can stand it.

*breathe* Okay, here’s the story:

Last Friday, I arrived home to find a letter from the complex’s representative stating that (1) it had been brought to their attention that there are animals in the complex; (2) it is in actual fact a pet-free complex, (3) we need to indicate who gave us permission to have our pets, providing written proof of this; (4) pets should be neutered/spayed; et cetera. This immediately put me in a foul mood since we received a notice last year February that only the three apartments listed therein had permission to own cats (thank the Gods for my obsessive-compulsive hoarding instinct that kicked in and made me keep that notice!)

If they’re going to complain about the cats (and there aren’t that many anymore, though now there are two dogs), I want to provide a counter argument complaint about the g*ddamn kiddies that live here:

(1) They run around everywhere; (2) they scream at each other while standing side by side, and it sounds like they are being murdered – I’m not sure whether to be concerned about a true injury or annoyed about the obvious attention-seeking gesture; (3) they have a blatant disregard for cars coming in and out of the gate, instead deciding that that’s a good place to hang around and then getting petulant/sulky when you ask them to move; (4) they don’t seem to have been taught that you leave other people’s pets alone and shouldn’t agitate/chase/pick them up or take them into your apartment – why do you think they run away or, in a different scenario, scratch you for grabbing at them. Sometimes animals cannot help what they do, but you as a parent are raising that child and obviously not doing the best of jobs… Trust me, I could go on and on about the little hooligans.

And I now, again*, have good reason to.

[*I say again because while we were on honeymoon they managed to let the cat out of our apartment and have my older sister in a flat spin looking for Smudgy only to hear one of the apartment doors opening and seeing her running from that direction.]

While I was reading the letter on Friday, Smudgy came to sit on the countertop. I immediately noticed that she wasn’t her usual self: she didn’t meow at me, wasn’t curious about what I was eating, wouldn’t respond when I talked to her and instead just sat there looking frightened/alert while staring at the window. I noticed that her tail was a droopy, and initially assumed she was merely feeling a bit ‘off’… until I told my mum about it on the phone a few minutes later. Her opinion? That Smudgy’s tail might be broken.

Cue mild panic attack and protective anxiety over my beloved kitty!

I could see she was in a great deal of pain, struggling to sit/lie down comfortably and sort of holding her backside in the air. Upon taking her to the vet, it was confirmed that her tail was either broken or dislocated, they he suspected (and I hoped for) the latter. I had to leave her there overnight so that she could go for x-rays the following morning. It turned out that her tail had been dislocated, but that she would be fine as long as there were no internal problems (nerve endings not working properly being the main concern). I had to closely monitor Smudgy’s sandbox habits – not being able to urinate or pass stool could mean complications and a possible operation. Defensive human mommy that I am, I worked from home on Monday just so that I could be close to her.

It seems like Smudgy was pursued by someone/something and, when she jumped into our window to escape, digging her nails in for purchase to drag herself out of harm’s way, aforementioned someone/something yanked on her tail – thus causing the dislocation. I don’t believe another cat could have done it. If it were a car, Smudgy’s tail would have been broken, not dislocated, and she knows to stay away from moving vehicles (she makes herself scarce when one starts up). The only logical thing that springs to mind is that the kiddies were (again) running up and down the stairs, playing in front of the various apartments, and then were chasing her and trying to grab onto her when she jumped inside. The school holidays started last Friday, after all, and I’ve seen them harassing cats before…

Oh, and when we were finally able to let Smudgy outside again on Tuesday, she was only gone for a short while before she leapt with great swiftness through the window again. A few seconds later, I heard the children passing by our window and running down the stairs to their respective homes, deterring me from seeing whose delinquents had been after her.

*rage rage RAGE*

Anyway: Smudgy’s tail is still a bit droopy, but other than that, the vet has confirmed that she’s fine and should make a speedy recovery. I just wish that she didn’t have to go through that pain 😦 I’ve tried not thinking about it too much. Instead, I’ve been thankful that the damage didn’t necessitate surgery and that she’s been giving me more cuddle time and affection.

Perhaps I should take up a personal mantra: Keep calm and don’t kill the kiddies… yet.

Stretching out across my lap before coming in for a cuddle

Completely contented kitty 🙂

Message Sessions IV

21 06 2012

Dear cell phone

I love you – I really do. I’m quite sentimental over you due to the fact that you were purchased while we were on honeymoon last year. However, you better get your act together. Yesterday you froze and didn’t allow me to use Opera Mini, and I had to resort to uninstalling and then reinstalling the application. Now, this morning, you don’t want to send and receive my e-mails! Just remember that you are easily replaceable…

Slightly frustrated,

Checking for a new phone


Dear guy who attended aqua aerobics for the first time last night

I’m very happy that you decided to do something about your excessive bulk and join the gym to better your lifestyle. Aqua aerobics (aka the splash class) is a fun workout that always leaves me feeling refreshed afterwards, and I hope that you’ll learn to enjoy it as well. BUT, nearly ramming into me and constantly getting in the way sort of ruined my evening, making the exercise feel useless and causing me to feel like an idiot when the instructor keeps looking over at us. One thing you should know about me: I looove contemplating murder. Just a thought.

Insincerely yours,

Stay out of my way


Dear Smudgy

Thanks for being my little fur-baby! I’m so glad that you’ve been more loving of late, although I’m not sure what’s so alluring about my post-workout scent that makes you want to cuddle up next to me, or the taste of chlorine water that you lick off of my foot/ankle…

Love & hugs,

Your human mommy


Dear Significant Other

Bzzz-bzzz-bzzzzzz. That is all 😉

Oodles of love,

Me xxx


Dear Mythbusters

Thank you for making my evenings sooo much better and greatly entertaining! Nothing goes better with my thoughts about murder, despair and all things macabre in general than watching you guys blowing stuff up. Nearly done with season 5 – three more seasons (and plenty of explosions) to go!

Keep blowing stuff  it up,

A big fan


Dear me

Get your rear in gear and work on your book review site!!!


No more excuses

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